Burnt toast

The ritual of the scraping of the burnt toast takes place in our home every morning at breakfast time. It is one of those sacred rituals without which modern life would be devoid of meaning.

Another ritual is the choosing of the cereal. Everyone has their own cereal, it’s a democratic right. But, since we all change with time, the pourer of the cereal (a position of some power) must keep track of whether it’s cocoa-pops, corn flakes or oatmeal squares. The difference could be almost fatal, a direct assault on unwary tase buds.

Then there is the pouring of the tea (no coffee, no milk, no sugar), this must be pure and unadulterated, otherwise the significance of the tea ceremony will be compromised. The Japanese must have copied us.

Last but not least, there is the covering of the burnt but scraped toast with a sweet, sticky substance, be it jam, confiture, preserve, or marmalade. This brings the ceremony of the breakfast ritual to a close with various imprecations or words of praise for the maker.

Of course, the real British breakfast of egg and bacon, is forbidden by the Gods (or God). And the true Israeli breakfast consisting of vegetables (tomato, cucumber) diced into tiny pieces, in addition to which there is also herring and cheese and olives, is eschewed, because the more exotic the components the more we move away from the prescribed pure essence of the breaking of the night’s fast every morning. Let there be light and breakfast, and there was breakfast!

Next we have the sacred ceremony of the eating of the lunch – pass the bread (brown not white) and make a sandwich, according to the prescribed custom. In the English version, with one thin layer between the slices, in the American version, with multiple layers to make the sandwich thick, known as “Brooklyn style.”

Then there is English teatime, when the tea is poured first (if you are upper class and use bone china) or the milk is poured first (if you are lower class and use cheap pottery cups). Then either a scone or a slice of bread and jam is consumed.

In the evening one takes supper (lower) or dinner (upper), depending on your class. But,.my favorite meal is the final meal taken before bedtime, when you can eat what you really like, before the night-time fast. Then we’re back to the ritual of burnt toast again.

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